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John Dory

is technically called Zeus faber, common in the Mediterranean Sea and round the south-western coasts of England. A corruption of jaune adorée=the adorable or sacred yellow fish.

The only interest of this creature in a work like the Dictionary of Phrase and Fable is the tradition that it was the fish from which St. Peter took the stater. Hence it is called in French le poisson de St. Pierre, and in Gascon, the golden or sacred cock, meaning St. Peter’s cock. Like the haddock, it has a remarkable oval black spot on each side, said to be the finger-marks of St. Peter, when he held the fish to extract the coin. As neither the haddock nor dory can live in fresh water, of course this tradition is only an idle tale.

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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John
John-a-Dreams
John-a-Droynes
John-a-Nokes [or Noakes
John Anderson, my Jo
John Audley
John Bull
John Chinaman
John Company
John Doe
John Dory
John Dory
John Long
John Roberts (A)
John Thomas
John Drum’s Entertainment
John in the Wad
John of Bruges
John oGroat
John of Hexham
John of Leyden (the prophet)

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